It’s hard to believe I’ve been living in California for 6 months (or I will have on 23rd December). It must have been one of the fastest 6 months of my life. On the one hand, I feel like I did nothing but alternate laying out at the beach and lying on my sofa eating peanut butter m and ms (or anything else peanut butter.. there is so much peanut butter stuff here!). On the other hand, I have completed two online classes, road tripped up and down the state, flown cross country to a blogger conference, hiked in one of the most stunning places in Southern California, completed some freelance writing work and drank my weight in pumpkin flavoured drinks.
Until we moved here I was a Primary School teacher (first in the UK then at an International School in Beijing), a career I may well still go back to in the future (though they call it Elementary School over here of course). I’m so used to tracking time with term dates, school events, paper work and reports, it’s been weird adapting to a new lifestyle that doesn’t have all these markers. As a reminder to myself that I have done quite a lot these last few months (and because I didn’t manage more than one monthly roundup– oops!), here are six things I did in six months of living In California .
We road tripped down to San Diego shortly after we moved here. I loved stopping at all the beach towns along the way and absolutely want to move to Encinitas, a town in San Diego that was recommended to me by my blog pal Justine.
The first time we stopped in Santa Barbara was on our road trip. Justin, Tamsin, Guido and I drove around wine country sampling delicious local wine and even stopping at one of the locations from the Sideways film. Justin and I then went back in October to see a Sufjan Stevens concert. We spent the whole day in Santa Barbara and saw some of the sights like the old Mission, the tower at the court house and, this time, we did some of the Urban Wine Trail (no driving required). It’s such a pretty town, I can definitely foresee more visits there in the future.
Enjoyed The Outdoor Life
I really made the most of living one minute walk from the beach this summer (and most of Autumn too- it took a long time to cool off this year). I went there all the time to read, walk, jog on the boardwalk and work on my tan (with plenty of suncream of course). We didn’t just go to the beach near our house though, we also spent time in Laguna exploring some of the many coves there. We’ve also done some great hikes over the last few months- locally at Crystal Cove, and out at Big Bear and Joshua Tree. And finally, I have loved being able to paddle board on the harbour right across the street from my house. I would love to get my own paddle board, but they are pretty expensive (hello Father Christmas- or Santa as you have to say here or no one knows what on earth you’re talking about- can I have a crazy expensive paddle board please?). I guess I’ll stick to renting until I win the lottery!
TBEX North America
In October, I went to my first blogging conference. I have to say, it was so much fun! I met so many lovely bloggers as well as other people in the travel industry. I also went on a really great craft brewery tour with the Brew Bus. Although it cost to fly across country to attend, I ended up getting a cheap deal at a hotel and had all the food and drink I needed provided at the conference. I’ve been so busy recently that I’m yet to capitalize on any of the things I learned, or contacts I made, at the conference- but at least I had fun meeting everyone!
Studied and Freelanced
It was so much fun studying again. I love learning and getting to study writing again was a dream. You may or may not know that I studied English with Media & Cultural Studies at University (before I later went back to get my Post Graduate Certificate in Education). I think I only ended up taking one or two writing modules there in favour of studying things like Victorian women’s poetry and Cold War literature, but I loved it. My love of writing and reading grew way before that though- I used to spend hours in my room writing my diary, short stories and making little newspapers. While I love writing my blog, it was great to get more practise at writing in a professional and serious manner (something that is a bit different to my little blog!). I also ended up doing some great freelance projects over the last few months and am looking forward to doing more in the future. Maybe I’ll even write a book…maybe. On the other hand, I realise one of my great skills as a Primary School teacher was being able to work on a million different things at once with all kinds of distractions. Having to concentrate on one thing for a long period of time is kind of weird for me!
Became a Baseball Fan
I’ve never been that interested in watching sport before (or should that be sportS?). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE watching the Olympics (the 2012 Olympics in London was probably one of the highlights of my life!), Wimbledon (of course- they revoke your British citizenship if you don’t watch it) and I’m super happy that my home football (that’s soccer to some of you!) team Leicester City are doing really well this year, but I’ve never really followed a full season of anything. This year I became absolutely obsessed with the Dodgers. If I wasn’t at one of the games in the stadium, I was watching them on tv nearly every day! I’m even planning on doing fantasy baseball next year, although Justin tells me I’m not allowed to just pick the whole Dodgers team for my fantasy team. We’ll see about that…
Pin It For Later!
So there we go- 6 months living in California! What have you been up to over the last 6 months? Feel free to share a story in the comments below 🙂
If you liked this, you can receive updates by email below. Or follow my updates on Instagram here. ♥